Definition & Etymology

The history of words through the painstaking research of etymologists since the 2nd century, has formed the basis for the definitions provided by modern lexicographers both in print, and online.

This has not prevented many words, especially homonyms from being commonly misused in society.

Fortunately, two websites strive to ensure the clarifty of definition and origin.

The Pennsylvania author, historian, and journalist, Douglas Harper created to give access to the explanations of words to everyone online.

Using a variety of sources, he has compiled an archive of over 30,000 words which can be easily accessed through a simple search bar. It is now the leading site for etymology on the net.

This web success has been shared by who are the online resource for definitions. Through their site, and multiple platform app, they have become an indispensable reference tool for writers across the world.

The content below is entirely that of the aforementioned websites, and is replicated here with their express written permission.



literary (adj.)

1640s, "pertaining to alphabet letters," from Fr. littéraire, from L. literarius/litterarius "belonging to letters or learning," from littera/litera "letter" Meaning "pertaining to literature" is attested from 1737.

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1. Pertaining to or of the nature of books and writings, especially those classed as literature.

2. Pertaining to authorship: literary style.

3. Versed in or acquainted with literature; well-read.

4. Engaged in or having the profession of literature or writing.

5. Characterized by an excessive or affected display of learning; stilted; pedantic.

6. Preferring books to actual experience; bookish.

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1550s, from Fr. réjection (16c.) or directly from L. rejectionem, noun of action from reicere (see reject). In 19c., it also could mean “excrement.”

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reject (v.)

early 15c., from L. rejectus, pp. of reicere "to throw back," from re- "back" The noun is first recorded 1550s; rare before 20c.

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verb (used with object)

1. To refuse to have, take, recognize, etc.

2. To refuse to grant (a request, demand, etc.).

3. To refuse to accept (someone or something); rebuff: The publisher rejected the author's latest novel.

4. To discard as useless or unsatisfactory.

5. To cast out or eject; vomit.

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